Beginning Fall 2012, Faculty and Academic Development is launching a new mentoring program. In the past, we focused on new faculty and working with department chairs to pair those new faculty with individual mentors. This year, we are broadening our focus to better serve faculty by encouraging mentoring across the lifespan—from first hire to retire. In lieu of facilitating mentoring dyads, however, we are offering targeted workshops for our new faculty cohort as well as our faculty who are mid-career through senior faculty ranks.
For New Faculty
- Offer workshops specifically designed for new faculty;
- Keep in touch with new faculty throughout the year via email or social media to alert new faculty of timely student issues and pressures (such as homesickness or test anxiety) and upcoming responsibilities and opportunities (such as advising or collecting formative feedback at midterm); and
- Will post information on mentoring on this website, such as articles on best practices and building community through mentoring that are germane to our new faculty and their mentors.
For Mid-career and Senior Faculty
- A Faculty Learning Community (FLC) for those engaged in mentoring of all kinds—with students, new faculty, mid–career faculty, senior faculty, retiring faculty;
- College/Department/Program Mentor Directors who could conduct one or more events on areas of concern specific to that unit;
- Mentoring Circles for like-minded faculty to meet either formally or informally around areas of particular interest, from teaching to grant writing to collaborative scholarly work.
Two increasingly popular models of mentoring may be of interest colleges, departments and programs. One is peer-to-peer mentoring. This format acknowledges the collaborative role of colleagues in their scholarly and creative endeavors and further recognizes the serial or changing nature of this kind of collaboration—some of which may be facilitated using a social networking platforms. For a full description, see Towards Passionate Thought: Peer Mentoring as Learning from One Colleague to Another by Dils and Stinson.
The second model is called mutual mentoring. Developed at the University of Massachusetts, this sophisticated mentoring model helps new faculty to locate one or more individuals from within or without their home institution as a way in which to further their research activity. This model has specific guidelines to measure the success of that mentoring relationship in terms of productivity. To see how this has been successfully implemented, visit http://www.umass.edu/ctfd/mentoring/resources.shtml.
If we have learned anything, we know that mentoring is crucial to the success of faculty and to the long time health of an institution. At the same time, we also know that the ways in which mentoring is implemented is varied and dynamic. Faculty and Academic Development encourages faculty to engage in mentoring. We invite your participation in activities that are meaningful to you.